Pulling no punchiness
- The punchiest strip in the Console 1 ecosystem
- Created in partnership with the one-and-only Dave Derr and Empirical Labs
- The closest thing yet to an Empirical Labs console
- Featuring Lil FrEQ’s EQ/de-ess and Mike-E's comp/sat on the Console 1 sections
Console 1 Exclusive
Empirical Labs Trak Pak for Console 1
Ever wonder how an Empirical Labs console would sound? Trak Pak has your answer and it’s an emphatic, hell yeah. Introducing the Empirical Labs Trak Pak channel strip expansion for Console 1. In partnership with Dave Derr, the mastermind behind ELI, we expertly modeled two killer hardware units: the intensely punchy Lil FrEQ de-esser/analog equalizer and the hairy, fat-sounding Mike-E saturator/compressor. Turns out, these two get along like gangbusters.
Combined and configured for mixing, this pairing stuffs obscene amounts of power, punch, character, and analog warmth into a single channel strip. With the highly valued Console 1 workflow and bone-deep ELI sound, Trak Pak is unique for Console 1 and unlike anything on the pro audio market today. Drop exceptional analog sound and the perfect amount of vintage mojo onto your ecosystem with the Empirical Labs Trak Pak.
Designed by Experts, Built on Legacy
Softube has a long history of modeling professional gear. After nearly two decades working in collaboration with premium pro audio brands like Tube-Tech, Solid State Logic, Chandler Limited®, Weiss Engineering, and Trident, we have a solid track record recreating indisputable classics in software form that sound precisely like their hardware counterparts.
Empirical Labs Trak Pak for Console 1 is built on this legacy, and we took the same meticulous approach we always do – everything needs to be exact, with skillful recording, precise testing, and fine-tuning to sound exactly like the hardware that inspired it or even better. Nothing less.
Have a listen
Coming Out Shining: the ELI sound
Masterfully recreated in cooperation with Dave Derr and Empirical Labs, Trak Pak is a channel strip unlike any other in our catalog. It combines the signature ELI sound with the myriad workflow benefits that Console 1 is known and loved for. It's the nearest thing to an ELI console going.
Between the Eyes: Mike-E's
compression and distortion
The Mike-E compressor is that flawless blend of compression and distortion that modern production tracks demand. To make it more versatile, we split its functions into two Console 1 sections: Compressor and Drive. Compressor handles the pure compression side of things while Drive administers the gritty and warm distortion that Mike-E is famous for.
Smashing Punches: Lil FrEQ's EQ,
filters and De-ess section
The four-band parametric EQ, with the LF and HF sporting the now-classic fixed-frequency shelving filters. Added non-stepped high- and low-cut. The De-esser/HF Limiter in the Shape Section, making for some truly original sounds when combined with Mike-E's impressive Compressor and Drive sections. The heart and soul of Lil FrEQ have been transplanted into Trak Pak. And it's giving us life.
Temple of ELI
Based on components from the precisely-modeled Empirical Labs Lil FrEQ and Mike-E units, Trak Pak is our punchiest-ever channel strip for Console 1. Configured for mixing pros and optimized for the Console 1 workflow, Trak Pak features Lil FrEQ's High-Pass filter and a newly designed Low-Pass filter in the Input Section, Lil FrEQ's De-esser/HF Limiter in the Shape Section, and Lil FrEQ's parametric EQ and High/Low Shelving in the Equalizer Section.
Mike-E makes his mark in the Compressor Section. Trak Pak's Compression Section is the compression section from Mike-E's CompSat, which is based on the famous Distressor. Coming straight from the "sat" in Mike-E’s CompSat, Trak Pak's Drive Section offers full-on, retro-flavored distortion. If you've ever been curious about how a Mike-E/Lil-FrEQ supergroup would sound, check out Trak Pak.
Raised by a family of engineers, Dave Derr has gone from a chance encounter at Radio Shack to having his gear used in every major studio and on thousands of records. A rocker in his own right, his name is now synonymous with analog warmth, but he's not resting on his laurels. On the contrary. The humble genius behind Empirical Labs continues thinking and tinkering and incrementally improving on the already amazing array of products he’s gifted the music industry. Products like Fatso, DerrEsser, and Distressor. It's that work ethic and empirical spirit that has made ELI so well-regarded in the pro audio sphere. Its products are real-world tested and built to get the better of obsolescence. Softube couldn’t be prouder to be part of the Dave Derr and Empirical Labs legacy with our authentic emulations of their modern analog classics: Mike-E, Lil FrEQ, Trak Pak, and the Empirical Labs Complete Collection.
The anatomy of the
Trak Pak channel strip
Consisting of the high-pass filter from the Lil FrEQ, and a newly designed low-pass filter that was created using the high-pass circuits. It features that sweet bump that gives the cuts a nicely defined sound.
This is not your dad’s gate or shape section. It’s the De-esser/HF Limiter from the Lil FrEQ. In HF Limiter mode it will work as a limiter for all frequencies above the cross-over frequency and is excellent for taming hard transients as well as emulating analog tape. In de-ess mode (with the HF Limiting turned off) it’s a level-independent de-esser that can turn down comparatively high or harsh frequencies in an extremely musical manner.
The heart and soul of the Lil FrEQ transplanted. It’s a four-band parametric EQ in which the LF and HF have the classic, fixed-frequency shelving filters of Lil FrEQ. We also added a non-stepped high- and low-cut, based on the circuitry in the Lil FrEQ.
Compressor and Drive section
To make Mike-E’s near-perfect compressor even more versatile, we split the functionality into two Console 1 sections: Compressor and Drive. Compressor is the pure compression side of things, with continuous attack and release times as well as a classic Threshold control. Drive imbues Mike-E’s warm and toasty distortion that is famous for adding glue and control to the track. The Character knob has the same type of brighten-or-darken functionality as seen in the SSL SL 4000E strip.
BOOK A LIVE DEMO
Itching to know all there is to know about our Empirical Labs + Softube suite of products? Or just want to get up and running as quick as you can? Either way, we got you covered. Book a private video session with our product demonstration team today. Learn more
- Made for Console 1, our mixing ecosystem. Learn more about Console 1
- Based on components from the precisely-modeled Empirical Labs Lil FrEQ and Mike-E units
- Optimized for the Console 1 workflow
- Sound and performance equivalent to the hardware counterparts
- The celebrated Empirical Labs sound
- ELI available for the first time as a channel strip
- Created in collaboration with the authority, Dave Derr of Empirical Labs
- It’s basically like having an Empirical Labs console
- High and Low-pass filters from the Lil FrEQ: 18 dB/octave
- Shape section from the DS section of Lil FrEQ (DS and HF, high frequency limiting)
- 4-band parametric EQ from Lil FrEQ with the separate shelves and filters selectable on the LF and HF bands: Gain +-14 dB
- Compressor from the Mike-E (based on the Distressor) including NUKE mode
- Compressor ratios: BYP, 1:1, 2:1, 4:1, 8:1 & NUKE
- Compressor attack times: 0.9 ms to 100 ms
- Compressor release times: 0.05 s to 0.5 s
- Drive has the multistage soft-clipping from the Saturator of Mike-E
All Softube products require a computer with appropriate DAW host software (none of which are included).
Versions from 2.5.18 and newer of the Softube plug-ins have the following minimum requirements:
All native versions
- Mac OS X 10.13 up to 11.6.1 - MacOS 12 Monterey support pending
- Windows 10 64-bit - Windows 11 support pending
- Mac: Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 / Xeon - M1 support pending
- Windows: Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 / Xeon / AMD Quad-Core or newer
- Screen resolution larger than 1280x800
- 8 GB RAM or more is recommended, as well as at least 8 GB hard disk space for installation (individual plug-ins take less space, while sample libraries may require additional disk space).
- Softube account
- iLok account
- Internet access for downloading installers and managing licenses
- iLok generation 2 and up, if you intend to use an iLok key for authorizing your plug-ins (note that a physical iLok USB key is not a requirement)
In theory, any 64-bit VST, VST3, AU, or AAX (Pro Tools 11.0.2 or higher) compatible host application should work. However, due to plug-in host differences between DAWs - and our own rigorous testing standards - we only officially test our plug-ins and instruments in the most recent versions of Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Ableton Live, Studio One, Reaper, and Cakewalk. Softube plugins are not tested in non-listed systems, but they most likely work as long as the system requirements are met. We cannot guarantee a solution for issues in unsupported systems.
Note: We have checked the basic functionality of our plug-ins, and Softube Central, in macOS Monterey running under Apple Rosetta 2, and initial tests do look promising. Silicon M1 native support is pending.
Note: We have run initial tests of Softube Central and our plug-ins within Windows 11 with positive early results. Further testing and announcements will follow.
With regards to the different VST formats, we strongly recommend using VST3 as some of our plug-ins have features that are not present in the older VST format. Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192 kHz, in both mono and stereo. The most recent maintenance release of your DAW application is recommended. AAX DSP is not currently in active development. TDM/VENUE is no longer supported (old downloads are available on the Legacy Installers page)
Find the Softube installer you need both Softube Central and individual plug-ins.
AAX DSP version
- For AAX DSP you need to meet the above requirements for the Native versions. You also need to have an Avid HDX processing card. For plug-ins available for AAX DSP, see Which Softube plug-ins support AAX DSP?